Ann Meyers

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Ann Meyers Drysdale
Shooting Guard
Born (1955-03-26) March 26, 1955 (age 59)
San Diego, California
Nationality USA
Height 5 ft 9 in (1.75 m)
Weight 134 lb (61 kg)
College UCLA
Draft 1st player drafted in the WBL, 1978
New Jersey Gems
WNBA career 1978–1981
Awards and honors
WBL Co-MVP for the 1979–1980
Ann Meyers
Medal record
Women's Basketball
Competitor for USA
USA Women's Pan American Team
Gold 1975 Mexico City National Team
Olympic Games
Silver 1976 Montreal Canada Team Competition
USA Women’s World University Games Team
Silver 1977 Sofia, Bulgaria National Team
World Championship
Gold 1979 Seoul National Team
USA Women's Pan American Team
Silver 1979 San Juan National Team
Jones Cup
Gold 1979 Jones Cup Taipei, Taiwan Team Competition

Ann Meyers Drysdale (born Ann Elizabeth Meyers March 26, 1955 in San Diego) is a retired American basketball player and sportscaster. She was a standout player in high school, college, the Olympic Games, international tournaments, and the professional levels.

Meyers was the first player to be part of the U.S. national team while still in high school. She was the second woman to be signed to a four-year athletic scholarship for college, at UCLA.[1] She was also the only woman to sign a contract with a National Basketball Association team, the Indiana Pacers (1979),[2] until on April 15, 2014 when the Washington Wizards signed Amaris Jackson, (it was a one day contract and she was ten years old. She is currently fighting the rare kidney cancer called renal cell carcinoma).

Meyers currently resides in Huntington Beach, California, and serves as the president and general manager for the WNBA's Phoenix Mercury and vice president of the NBA's Phoenix Suns.[3][4] For over 26 years, she served as a network television sports analyst for ESPN, CBS, and NBC. Meyers is a Board Member for the Lott IMPACT Trophy, which is named after Pro Football Hall of Fame defensive back Ronnie Lott, and is given annually to college football's Defensive IMPACT Player of the Year.

Early life[edit]

Meyers was born on March 26, 1955, the sixth of Patricia and Bob Meyers' 11 children. Her father played guard for Marquette University, then for the Shooting Stars, a professional team in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One of her brothers, Dave, was an All-American at UCLA and went on to play for the Milwaukee Bucks.[5]

Athletic accomplishments[edit]

High school[edit]

Meyers attended Sonora High School in La Habra, California. As an all-around athlete, she lettered in seven sports, including in softball, badminton, field hockey, tennis, and basketball.[6] She earned thirteen Most Valuable Player awards in high school sports. She led her basketball teams to an 80–5 record. In 1974, Meyers became the first high school student to play for the U.S. national team.[5]

College[edit]

Meyers was a four-year athletic scholarship player for the UCLA Bruins women's basketball team (1976–1979), the first woman to be so honored at any university.[5] In a game against Stephen F. Austin on February 18, 1978, she recorded the first quadruple-double in NCAA Division I basketball history, with 20 points, 14 rebounds, 10 assists and 10 steals.[7][8] Since then, University of Tennessee at Martin junior guard Lester Hudson is the only other Division I basketball player, male or female, to have done so.[7] On March 25, 1978, her UCLA Bruins team was the AIAW national champion: UCLA defeated Maryland, 90–74 at Pauley Pavilion. While at UCLA (1976–1979), she became the first four-time All American women's basketball player. She was the winner of the Honda Sports Award as outstanding women's college basketball player of the year, as well as the Broderick Cup for outstanding woman athlete of the year in 1978.[9] As of 2008, she still holds UCLA career records for season steals (125), career steals (403), and career blocked shots (101).[8]

Olympics and World competition[edit]

Meyers was a member of the US team that won the 1975 Pan American Games Gold medal.[5] She played on the US Olympic basketball team that won a Silver Medal in the 1976 Summer Olympics in Montreal.[5] That team was led by Billie Moore, her own coach at UCLA. She was on the 1979 US team that won the 1979 FIBA World Championship for Women Gold medal.[5] This was the first time since 1957 that the United States won a World Championship title. She also won silver medals at the 1979 Pan American Games and 1977 World University Games.[5]

Meyers was named to the team representing the USA at the 1979 William Jones Cup competition in Taipei, Taiwan. The USA team won all six games en route to the gold medal.[10]

Professional[edit]

In 1980, Meyers made NBA history when she signed a $50,000 no-cut contract with NBA's Indiana Pacers.[5] She participated in three-day tryouts for the team, the first by any woman for the NBA, but eventually was not chosen for the final squad.[11] She became a color analyst for the team at a time when there were very few women in sportscasting.[2] Meyers was the first woman player drafted by the Women's Professional Basketball League (WPBL) in 1978 to the New Jersey Gems. Playing for the Gems, Meyers was the WPBL Co-MVP for the 1979–1980 season.[11] She wore jersey No. 15 for the Gems. She entered the inaugural Women Superstars competition in 1979, finishing fourth, but then went on to win the next three consecutive years: 1980, 1981, and 1982.[6] Meyers served as an analyst for NBC Sports coverage of women's basketball at the 2008 and 2012 Summer Olympics.[12]

Honors and Hall of Fame inductions[edit]

Family[edit]

On November 1, 1986, she married former Los Angeles Dodger Baseball Hall of Fame pitcher Don Drysdale, and took the name Ann Meyers Drysdale. It was the first time that a married couple were members of their respective sports' Halls of Fame. They had three children: sons Don Jr. (DJ) and Darren, and daughter Drew.[21]

Meyers was widowed on July 3, 1993 when Drysdale died of a heart attack in Montreal, Quebec.[22]

Meyers is the sister of former NBA player Dave Meyers, who also played college basketball and was an All-American at UCLA, under coach John Wooden. He played four seasons for the NBA's Milwaukee Bucks.

Broadcasting career[edit]

Meyers has been the women's basketball analyst at the Summer Olympics since the NBC's coverage of the 2000 Sydney Olympics for NBC Sports. She was offered a job to broadcast the Chicago Bulls games in 1993, but she turned it down due to family considerations.[23]

She served as an analyst on ESPN's coverage of the WNBA and previously worked for NBC Sports full-time as its lead WNBA analyst from 1997 to 2002. Meyers also worked "Hoop-It-Up" telecasts in 1994 and 1995. Since 1983, she has served as an ESPN analyst for various events including both men's and women's NCAA basketball games.

She also worked as a color analyst for the Indiana Pacers making her the first woman to do game analysis for the team.

Meyers led the U.S. to a silver medal at the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal as women's basketball made its Olympic debut, and returned eight years later as an announcer for ABC Sports at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles. She has since covered a wide variety of sports for major networks in the U.S, including the 1986, 1990 and 1994 Goodwill Games, men's and women's college basketball, and NCAA softball and volleyball.

See also[edit]

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ "Interview with Phoenix Mercury GM Ann Meyers Drysdale". Retrieved 2009-07-12. 
  2. ^ a b Mercury Name Ann Meyers Drysdale As General Manager Phoenix Mercury web site, September 12, 2006
  3. ^ Mercury's Drysdale adds title of president, Miami Herald, June 30, 2010
  4. ^ "A Lifetime of Firsts". Phoenix Woman. Retrieved June 25, 2010. 
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Porter p. 120
  6. ^ a b Woolum p 188
  7. ^ a b SKYHAWK JUNIOR MAKES NCAA HISTORY WITH QUADRUPLE-DOUBLE. University of Tennessee at Martin – UT Martin Sports, November 14, 2007 (Quadruple-double history mention)
  8. ^ a b c UCLA Women's basketball media guide
  9. ^ "Collegiate Women Sports Awards – Past Winners". American Honda Motor Co. Retrieved April 16, 2010. 
  10. ^ "1979 WOMEN'S R. WILLIAM JONES CUP". USA Basketball. Retrieved 3 August 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Porter, Karra (May 2006). Mad Seasons: The Story of the First Women's Professional Basketball League, 1978–1981. Bison Books. ISBN 0-8032-8789-5. 
  12. ^ Medium Well: Your NBC Olympics lineup – A blog on sports media, news and networks – baltimoresun.com
  13. ^ "PAST HONDA SPORTS AWARD WINNERS FOR BASKETBALL". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  14. ^ "Past Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year Winners (Honda Cup)". THE Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. Retrieved 8 May 2014. 
  15. ^ "Hall of Famers". Basketball Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  16. ^ Vencedor, Sonora High School Yearbook, Volume 29. La Habra, California: Jostens. June 1995. p. 129. 
  17. ^ "Mel Greenberg Media Award". Women's Basketball Coaches Association. Retrieved 2 Jul 2014. 
  18. ^ "WBHOF Inductees". WBHOF. Retrieved 2009-08-01. 
  19. ^ 2003 NCAA Silver Anniversary Award Recipients. National Collegiate Athletic Association, November 21, 2002
  20. ^ NCAA ANNOUNCES SILVER ANNIVERSARY AWARD RECIPIENTS. National Collegiate Athletic Association, November 21, 2002
  21. ^ http://www.nytimes.com/1993/07/05/obituaries/don-drysdale-hall-of-fame-pitcher-dies-at-56.html
  22. ^ Lyons, Richard D. (July 5, 1993). "Don Drysdale, Hall of Fame Pitcher, Dies at 56". The New York Times. Retrieved April 22, 2014. 
  23. ^ Smith, Michelle (May 7, 2010). "Ann Meyers Drysdale Epitomizes Working Mothers". AOL Sports. Archived from the original on May 10, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2010. 

References[edit]

  • David L. Porter, ed. (2005). Basketball: A Biographical Dictionary. Greenwood Press. ISBN 978-0-313-30952-6. 
  • Woolum, Janet (June 5, 1998). Outstanding women athletes : who they are and how they influenced sports in America (2 Sub edition ed.). Oryx Press. ISBN 978-1-57356-120-4. 

Bibliography[edit]

External links[edit]

Awards
Preceded by
Richard C. Chapman
Maurice "Bo" Ellis
Herman Frazier
Betsy King
John Naber
Rodney E. Slater
Silver Anniversary Awards (NCAA)
Class of 2003
Debbie Brown
Ann Meyers Drysdale
Dale Kramer
Kenneth MacAfee
Warren Moon
Gifford Nielsen
Succeeded by
Trish Millines Dziko
Bruce Furniss
Virginia Gilder
Stacey Johnson
Gregory Kelser
Kellen Winslow